• #HeresWhy Q&A: Winnie Liu

    In our next installment of our #HeresWhy industry Q&A sessions, we interviewed Winnie Liu, Sales Director, International Businesss Development for Emerald Exhibitions  and IAEE 20 Under 30 recipient:

    How did you get started in the events and exhibitions industry?

     I graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. After spending 2 years in the freight forwarding industry, I started my trade show experience at UBM Advanstar, where I provided customers with services to over 600 international exhibitors from Asian countries. In 2014, I joined Emerald Expositions, the largest B2B trade show organizer in the United States, and started working in the international division with SourceDirect at ASD. The event is going and growing well – it was identified as the fastest growing sourcing event in the United States over the last four years.

    I was recently promoted to Sales Director, International Business Development. I’m proud to work for such a great company that recognizes its employees. I can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and English, which has helped me excel in international business. I’m confident in myself and in my capabilities and believe we’ll continue to grow the international business portfolio.


    How do you see the industry being impacted by economic and political trends?

    There’s been a major increase in e-commerce and discount shopping by consumers, so physical store locations are closing. And many businesses are now wanting to source directly, because the prices are ultimately lower.

    We’re going to experience more difficulty with the current political situation. A lot of Asian companies need their government support to come to the US to exhibit in outside trade shows. Most international exhibitors have to get a VISA to enter the U.S. and do business. For some countries, the approval rate is very high. For other countries, the rate is much lower. These have been challenges in the past, but now they are even greater obstacles. This is going to be our biggest challenge going forward and it’s not in our direct control, but we’ll do our best to support these international partners coming to do business here.

    Despite these challenges, tradeshows will never die. Business opportunities arise when people are engaging together, and that’s what tradeshows provide. At the beginning of any business deal, people want to talk to each other, experience the product and get to know each other. And right now, the U.S. is still the number one country for business and everyone wants to do business here. America’s strong economy brings everybody together and is a great platform. That’s not going to change.


    What’s been your proudest career moment so far?

    A memory I’ll never forget is when we dissolved a business partnership with an exclusive agent and successfully established a full sales network structure in China. We decided to stop the relationship because there were issues with restrictions and we felt we could not adequately grow. Double digit growth in revenue YOY has proved this is the right business model, and we will continue to develop and strengthen our business partnership with our business partners around the world to promote the business.


    Is there anything missing from the tradeshow industry?

    I think show organizers can enhance people’s tradeshow experience by providing match making services to both exhibitors and buyers. Attendees go into shows overwhelmed because they’re big and there’s a lot going on. Uniquely matching up vendors and buyers allows them to do business more efficiently and helps them achieve their goals.


    Why are you passionate about the events and exhibitions industry?

    Helping international people do business here and bringing international business to the United States is something I’m very passionate about and want to continue doing throughout my career. I want to use my international background, talents and love for this field to help people grow and do business together.

    I’m proud to be a member of a great show management team with sourcing knowledge, international business experience and multi-languages skills in Japanese, Mandarins, Cantonese, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Romanian, German, Swedish, and English. We provide unique services and experiences for both exhibitors and attendees.


    Why would you recommend starting a career in this industry?

    I truly recommend starting a career in this industry because it’s filled with opportunities. This industry is so unique because it brings people together and creates lots and lots of business opportunities, such as networking and education. People who work in this industry have passion, talents, creative ideas, and the vision to foresee and forecast what the next trend is, so there are endless business opportunities we create for exhibitors and attendees. There is so much going on in this industry and there is always new excitement — I love trade shows!

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